Essay: On the Weekend Warrior Project
Photo courtesy Mike Maney Photography. Be sure to check out his work; he is a fellow cyclist in the Bucks County cycling community with multiple KOMs to his name.
Over the past decade of my cycling career I have managed to leave a question or two unanswered. There was the obvious question of what it felt like to win a race. I also wonder what I would have been capable of if I had specifically targeted Battenkill instead of using it as a springboard for the season.
Yet there were two questions that floated in my mind and still do to this day. Was it ever possible for a rider to race the Tour of the Battenkill and be competitive by simply nailing the nutrition? The human body is capable of surprising feats. Would a sudden shock to the system, supplied with well-thought-out nutrition, and as expected hydration pull off an upset? I always thought it was possible because it can’t get any more rested than not racing all winter.
The other question regarded whether a rider could be competitive by training only on the weekends. Those athletes are regarded – either politely or mockingly – as Weekend Warriors. It was read somewhere that established athletes don’t lose fitness until around the fifth consecutive day off. If years of cycling workouts have been stored in the legs, perhaps a weekend regimen could lead to satisfying rides. At least I hope so.
With several events on the horizon it is possible to leap frog from one event to another to provide a dependable foundation for 2019. Though Rapha’s Festive 500 is a weeklong event, it is being heavily leaned on to get out and ride. Moving into the near year the Kermesse events will provide chances to surround us with itchy participants and dozens of challenging miles.
There is one habit that may have to be broken to complete these Weekend Warrior experiences. To roll across the finish of some of these rides the bike will have to be racked at general stores and select quick serve restaurants to provide the nutrition and warmth. There is one rider in our community who has pulled his bike over and invited himself into a backyard barbecue or two. Obviously he is comfortable with queuing with a paper plate and hosts questioning his presence with inquiring gazes.
I am ready to find out if weekend-only outdoor rides will fulfill expectations over the next few months. I have already mentally suggested nearly every ride stop at Homestead Coffee – maybe twice ore more in one ride – before moving on to continue the Weekend Warrior Project. More than once Mike (yes that Mike) has suggested parking at Homestead with an eye toward some mythical New Jersey climb called Fiddler’s Elbow. How much worse could the climb be than Devil’s Kitchen. Maybe I’ll even eat a sandwich on the way to the summit.